We have objected to the proposed diversion of Beadnell footpath 31, which leads from Harbour Road, Beadnell, on the Northumberland coast, to Haven Beach.
The plan has been published by Northumberland County Council, the highway authority, and objections must be made by 15 March. The proposal is to move the path onto a route to the south.
The proposed change, although fairly minor on the map, is of great significance. The existing route is a wide open track, well surfaced and inviting. The proposed new route is narrow, and fenced in with a difficult, sandy surface.
Says Peter Gomersall, a local member of the society: ‘The path is used by a wide range of people carrying all sorts of items for a day on the beach. People have wheelchairs, buggies and prams, and carry canoes, boats, diving gear and picnics. They need the firm, wide path which exists at present. The proposed new route is completely unsuitable for such use.
Furthermore, there are fascinating bark pots close to the new route. These are grade 2-listed survivals of the old fishing industry and are vulnerable to erosion from the new route. They must not be put at risk.
‘So there are strong arguments for keeping the path on its existing route and not mucking about with it’, says Peter.